Movies Anywhere is the Voltron of streaming services

With the backing of five Hollywood studios, Movies Anywhere lets you watch titles from Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu. You've been warned, Netflix.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
Expertise Space, Futurism, Science and Sci-Tech, Robotics, Tech Culture Credentials
  • Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Claire Reilly
3 min read
Movies Anywhere

Watch out, Netflix and Hulu: There's a new streaming service in town. And it could have everything movie and TV fans want.

Launching Thursday, Movies Anywhere is a new all-in-one service that will bring some of the world's biggest movie studios and digital streaming platforms together into the one platform, meaning US viewers can watch content bought from multiple services through the one app.

Using the free app or website, viewers will be able to connect their Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu accounts to Movies Anywhere and then flick between every title bought or redeemed on those services, all within the Movies Anywhere Platform.

The app will work on iOS and Android devices, Amazon Fire devices, Apple TV , Android TV , Chromecast and Roku devices, as well as in browsers. Movies Anywhere said more platforms and retailers are still to come.

We're yet to go hands-on with Movies Anywhere -- stay tuned to CNET to get our first impressions Thursday -- but already there's an impressive list of Hollywood studios on board with the new service. 

That means Movies Anywhere will have films from Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios (including titles from Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

But you're out of luck if you want to watch "House of Cards" or "The Handmaid's Tale" from launch. Netflix and Hulu are the most notable names left off the list of digital services compatible with Movies Anywhere.  

Consider the battle lines drawn.

Watch this: Movies Anywhere wants to fix your scattered digital library

Hollywood fights back against streaming?

The major Hollywood powerhouses have come out to support the new service, but there's one company at the front of the pack.

Former Walt Disney Studios senior vice president, Karin Gilford, has been charged with leading the project as Movies Anywhere's general manager. According to a statement, Gilford will lead an independent "cross-functional team of product, technology, marketing and other professionals" as part of the project.

Gilford described Movies Anywhere as "a virtual one-stop movie-watching shop" and a massive step forward for consumers wanting to access digital movies and TV.

"Consumers never have to remember where they purchased a film or which device they can watch it on, because all of their eligible movies will be centralized within their Movies Anywhere library and available across platforms through the Movies Anywhere app and website and also available at their connected digital retailers."

The likes of  Netflix  and  Hulu  have long held pride of place in the digital media landscape, but there are signs that the world order is changing. In August, the Walt Disney Company announced it would be pulling its titles from Netflix by 2018 (including flagship Marvel and Star Wars titles) to start its own streaming service the following year.

And there's the rub. While Netflix and Hulu have reduced their reliance on outside studios by creating their own Originals in-house -- like "Stranger Things" or "The Handmaid's Tale" -- there's no doubt big names like Disney, Sony and Universal still produce a great deal of the titles viewers want to watch.

That's where services like Movies Anywhere could rise to the top. Your average movie buff doesn't want to know about the machinations of studios and streaming services -- they just want the latest blockbusters in one place. By securing the buy-in of major studios as well as digital retailers, Movies Anywhere could soon be the one-stop-shop for viewers, giving them what they want, where and when they want it.

Watch this: Disney cuts the cord with Netflix

Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here's your place for the lighter side of tech.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is cool.